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Oilers Scouting Staff the real deal?

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Old
05-15-2004, 06:27 PM
  #1
Lowetide
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Oilers Scouting Staff the real deal?

It's way too soon of course to pass judgement on the 2002 draft, but at this point it looks like it could turn into a killer. THAT is truly amazing, since the prevailing wisdom said it was a poor draft. Dave Conte said "The draft is not very well defined and is very immature. It could be all over the board. You might have to be more forgiving and take the guys who have done something, be they flawed or not."

On this board, many posters wanted the Oilers to trade up for Lupul or even Pitkanen. There were lots of rumours about trading up, Jiri Hudler, Alexander Semin and a few others. NO ONE mentioned Jesse Niinimaki, although there was a poster (honest) on the mock draft board who had Niinimaki listed in his mock draft.

They ended up picking Niinamaki, trading Hecht for the picks that turned into Stoll and Deslauriers, picking Matt Greene when Jiri Hudler was still available and then grabbing Brock Radunske, Dwight Helminen, Ivan Kolstov, Fredrik Johansson and Jonas Almtorp.

Think what might have happened if they'd actually been allowed to draft the legendary Robin Kovar.

Anyway, this 2002 draft came on the heels of the 2001 draft that brought in Hemsky and Lynch, plus Markkanen, Pisa and Haakana and a few who might turn out on top of that (Kenny Smith, Dan Baum, Mikael Svensk).

Here's my question: Based on those two seasons, and what appears to be a pretty nice 2003 draft, how far away is the Prendergast team from the elite guys like Conte and the group that was in Ottawa until a year or so ago (Kekalainen, Savard, that bunch)? Are they close to being the best in their division?

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05-15-2004, 06:35 PM
  #2
Mizral
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It depends, lowetide.

First off, it's very early, so any players marked as a 'success' or 'failure' can only be taken with a grain of salt.

So far, Jarret Stoll is clearly the pick of the litter, and without a doubt SHOULD have been taken in the 1st round (my god did I want the Canucks to get him.. but Kirril Koltsov was a fine pick too, so I'm not complaining.. though even still I'd rather have Stoll.. not a huge Koltsov fan I guess). So the Jarret Stoll pick even if he never turns into more than a 4th line forward (doubtful) could probobly be viewed as a success.

Beyond that, none have made the NHL. Deslauriers looks to be a slightly above average guy for the 2nd round. Niinimaki's fortunes have been bad, but either way you cut it, he's so far not looking good at all. This is not all the scouting staffs fault mind you. Still, even when healthy, I'm not sure Niinimaki has looked like a guy who can play on a scoring line in the NHL just yet. Greene is okay, and Johansson might be a potential sleeper.

Was it a good draft for the Oilers? Essentially it now hinges on the success of Niinimaki. However, at worst, this draft will probobly be thought of as at least 'okay', on the back of Jarret Stoll.

I agree with you that the 2002 draft was a lot better than people thought.

Reading most top 50 lists, unfortunatly none of the Oilers guys from 2002 are on it - though I think Stoll would be if he was still a prospect.

Do they compare with the Devils' Conte & the other best scouting staffs in the league? Honestly, I would say they aren't even in the same ballpark just yet. I've yet to see any indication that the Oilers scouting staff is any better than the average teams' scouts. But then again, much more will be known in the next couple of years.

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05-15-2004, 06:53 PM
  #3
Larry Fisher
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Stoll...

Mizral is right Jarret Stoll was a hell of a pickup by the Oilers but what a lot of us tend to forget is that he was a draft re-entry and thus was 2 years older than most/if not all the first rounders.

At the time of the draft I recall some posters calling Stollsky a reach in the second round considering his age and what was thought to be at that time "limited offensive potential"...all things considered I am pumped we picked him up but to say he was a steal or a gem in the second round maybe not.

As far as the Oilers scouting staff goes I feel K.P. and Co. have a better grasp on the Oilers needs than even KLO and they tend to find the BPA more often than not if there is no specific need.

With the news of JDD pretty much signed I fully expect the Oilers to draft the a forward (RW) who is known for his scoring abilities. Schremp is my pick at 14 if he falls and the only way the Oilers don't take a forward is if Thelen or Barker somehow drop way down. There will be solid goalies throughout the draft and I expect at least one tender to be taken in this draft along with a couple boom/bust forwards.

Go Team...

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Old
05-15-2004, 07:04 PM
  #4
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For some reason, when thinking about the 2002 draft, I always forget about Deslauriers and Stoll. "Niinimaki, Greene, who else?"

I'm not worried about Niinimaki. He put up decent numbers the year after he was drafted while playing on the 3rd/4th line. And he was doing very well before he got injured. I'd like to see how he does with some actual playing time before I start judging him.

But I don't see how some people can say he's not looking like a good pick. It's a travesty, and a sham, and a mockery. It's a traveshamockery.













Burgle flickle.

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Old
05-15-2004, 07:20 PM
  #5
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yep

I think Kevin P. and his team have been doing a great job and I think over the next 5 years most of the other teams in the NHL will start to notice the job that the Oilers arae doing at the draft table. Are they elite? No I do not think so do to the fact that to be elite you have to be consistent over a decade. They do have the potential however no one team will ever be totally dominant as there is so much readily available information for everyone. It is not like it used to be where you could miss players that other teams saw.

As for the 2002 draft year I have always loved it and thought it one of their best in fact I think I am a little more disappointed in the fact that some of the players that looked promising before do not any more. I am speaking about Koltsov and Dufort and Murphy. Dufort is not the scouting staff's fault though.

The first four in Niinimaki, Deslauriers, Stoll and Greene will all don Oiler silks and Radunkse will be in their organization somewhere for sure. Almtorp, Micka and Johansson all have potential still.

Helminen will at least have a game or more under his belt in the NHL wherever he is and Fisher also has potential to be good pro goalie.

As good as 2002 looks I am just as excited or more so about the 2003 draft year with the likes of Pouliot, Jaques, McDonald, Bodziak and Stortini. There are other in that draft year that could have high upsieds such as Zoukov, Ollson, etc. and some that could be really solid such as Rholfs and Hrabal.

All in all there is no doubt that the drafting under the Lowe regime is a lot better than it was in any point in the 90s. They put more effort and time into it then there ever was and they look for the character and heart of a player as well as a huge compenent instead of just skill which will what separates the Oilers in the next 10 years from the rest of the NHL.

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Old
05-15-2004, 09:22 PM
  #6
Mizral
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Aspin,

One thing worth noting is probobly the best draft in 15 years by the Oilers happened under Sather & his crew in 1999. Jani Rita (Meh), Alexei Semenov (pretty great pick), Mike Comrie (VERY good pick).

Not really saying much other than the fact that it was an abberation mind you

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05-16-2004, 01:05 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Aspin,

One thing worth noting is probobly the best draft in 15 years by the Oilers happened under Sather & his crew in 1999. Jani Rita (Meh), Alexei Semenov (pretty great pick), Mike Comrie (VERY good pick).

Not really saying much other than the fact that it was an abberation mind you

I do not think that it is that was a great draft for the Oilers. Yeah Comrie is ok but he is a #2 centre. Who knows if Rita will ever make it in the NHL and Semenov has not been a regular. Do not get me wrong I do like Semenov alot and think he will turn into a gem. There was also Salmelainen as well. I do like the 1999 draft but I like the 2002 and 2003 draft better. I love how the Oilers stock pile picks the last couple of years. The more shots at the dart board the better the chance of getting gems. Just take Brodziak as an example. It would be so easy to dismiss if the traded a 7th round pick away. we would not care less but look what it turned out to be.

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05-16-2004, 01:13 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspin
Just take Brodziak as an example. It would be so easy to dismiss if the traded a 7th round pick away. we would not care less but look what it turned out to be.
Agree he looks nice. But let's not get ahead of ourselves; he's not even in the AHL yet.

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Old
05-16-2004, 01:55 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
It depends, lowetide.

.

Do they compare with the Devils' Conte & the other best scouting staffs in the league? Honestly, I would say they aren't even in the same ballpark just yet.
in the last 5 years, the oilers have drafted players that played 682 games, the devils' draft picks have played a total of 452 games.

Argueably, the best devils draft pick (other than parise who has not played a game yet) is Mike Danton.

The oilers are ranked 3rd in terms of prospects, the devils are ranked 4th.

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Old
05-16-2004, 02:06 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sakich
The oilers are ranked 3rd in terms of prospects, the devils are ranked 4th.
Shhhh! The Devils' scouting department is unassailable!

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Old
05-16-2004, 02:14 AM
  #11
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Personally, I think this perceived aura of infallibility that seems to follow the Devils scouting staff has more to do with reputation than actual results, especially when you look at their record after 1995. It's decent to good, but not great by any means. From 2000 on, I think the Oilers have been just as good if not better than NJ. To say that the Oilers aren't even in the same league seems overly harsh to me.

One thing the Devils HAVE done exeptionally well though, is the savvy free agent signings of undersized college guys like Rafalski and Madden. It's worked well for them.


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Old
05-16-2004, 03:32 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Do they compare with the Devils' Conte & the other best scouting staffs in the league? Honestly, I would say they aren't even in the same ballpark just yet. I've yet to see any indication that the Oilers scouting staff is any better than the average teams' scouts. But then again, much more will be known in the next couple of years.
Who have the Devils taken in the last few years that have proven to be quality NHL players? The only couple players I've seen from 1999 on I can see are Hale, Martin and possibly Commodore/Rupp. I'd personally rather take Semenov, Comrie, Markkanen, Lynch, Stoll, Greene, Lombardi. Granted the Devils have had a heck of a lot of success in the past but they're far from perfect and I certainly feel the Oilers are closer to them than you feel..


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Old
05-16-2004, 08:28 AM
  #13
Lowetide
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And that's kind of why I started this thread. I remember one year NJ took Adrian Foster like 28th or something, and he was not rated. My knowledge of these drafts isn't great, and my first thought was "oh, damn, who did the Oilers miss out on?" That's the kind of thought process that Conte guy inspires, but he had to start somewhere right? He must have been doing a great bloody job and not getting credit in some years? And then it built up?

That's my question about the Oilers staff. Compared to Frasers final decade or so, the 2001 and 2002 group look mammoth. Hemsky, a 2001 first rounder, has played more NHL games than the first rounder taken in 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, and one could easily argue he's the best first rounder since Ryan Smyth in 1994.

Doug Lynch? His rookie AHL season was very good, made the all star team. Markkanen has worked out well.

The 2002 draft already has Stoll in the NHL, and some really nice players bubbling under. It's way too soon to tell, but the goalie taken early in the second round was a big help to his team in the playoffs, the kid at North Dakota has apparently stepped forward, and Brodziak has a big year in his final junior season.

I don't know if that is above average for an NHL team, but it sure looks impressive to this Oiler fan.

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05-16-2004, 10:30 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
The 2002 draft already has Stoll in the NHL, and some really nice players bubbling under. It's way too soon to tell, but the goalie taken early in the second round was a big help to his team in the playoffs, the kid at North Dakota has apparently stepped forward, and Brodziak has a big year in his final junior season.
Hmm. Well I can't really speak to the concerns which prompted this thread, but when I read the above, the first thing that popped into my head was:
At least draftees no longer know their NHL aspirations are over if the Oilers picked them.

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05-16-2004, 01:10 PM
  #15
Mizral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspin
I do not think that it is that was a great draft for the Oilers. Yeah Comrie is ok but he is a #2 centre. Who knows if Rita will ever make it in the NHL and Semenov has not been a regular. Do not get me wrong I do like Semenov alot and think he will turn into a gem. There was also Salmelainen as well. I do like the 1999 draft but I like the 2002 and 2003 draft better. I love how the Oilers stock pile picks the last couple of years. The more shots at the dart board the better the chance of getting gems. Just take Brodziak as an example. It would be so easy to dismiss if the traded a 7th round pick away. we would not care less but look what it turned out to be.
Well, Comrie is easily the best player drafted by the Oilers since .. probobly Ryan Smyth.

What gives you the impression that the 2002 or 2003 draft will be much better? I mean, if Stoll can close the gap between him and Comrie (will be tough, but he could get closer than he is now), Deslauriers and Niinimaki really aren't better prospects than Semenov and Rita were at the time. And I could very easily see Deslauriers in the AHL looking and looking okay, but Niinimaki still not over to North America next year. Deslauriers will have to become a #1 goaltender or Niinimaki a top 6 player to make the draft comparable to 1999 if you ask me. 2003 - geez, really? No offense, but I've already become disgusted with the 2003 draft. Not saying it's a write off, but it would take some monumental turn-arounds to catch up to the 1999 draft. Comrie was already playing in the NHL a year away from his draft year, and was the #2 centre on the Oilers the year after. Pouliot would have to start next season as the #2 centre to stack up to him alone, nevermind the rest of the draft stack up to Semenov, Rita, Salmelainen.

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05-16-2004, 01:21 PM
  #16
Mizral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerebral
Who have the Devils taken in the last few years that have proven to be quality NHL players? The only couple players I've seen from 1999 on I can see are Hale, Martin and possibly Commodore/Rupp. I'd personally rather take Semenov, Comrie, Markkanen, Lynch, Stoll, Greene, Lombardi. Granted the Devils have had a heck of a lot of success in the past but they're far from perfect and I certainly feel the Oilers are closer to them than you feel..
Why stop at 1999?

In 1998, the Devils selected Mike Van Ryn, Scott Gomez, Christian Berglund, Brian Gionta, and Pierre Dagenais.

However, in 1999 the Devils got Ari Ahonen whom you didn't mention.

In 2000 they selected both David Hale and Paul Martin, but a couple other really great prospects are DeMarchi (comparable to Greene) and Suglobov (this kid looks very good right now).

2001, 2002, 2003 is early. Remember, the Devils take their time with prospects compared to the Oilers who usually don't take much time at all to put prospects in their lineup.

To compare scouts, I'd suggest you look more at 2000 than 2001-2003. Even 2000 might be a little early for the Devils.

2000 (Lowe's and Pendergasts first draft) pits David Hale, Alexander Suglobov, Matt DeMarchi, Paul Martin, Michael Rupp, and Mike Danton versus basically... Matthew Lombardi and maybe Alexei Mikhnov.

2001 doesn't look as good for the Devils as 2002/2003 did, but again, I don't think we can fairly judge those for the Devils, since as I said, they take so much longer with their prospects.

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05-16-2004, 01:26 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
No offense, but I've already become disgusted with the 2003 draft.
Disgusted with the Oilers' draft? It's too early to tell much, but I don't see much to be disgusted with. What didn't you like about it?

Their first 3 picks all showed a lot this past year. There's also Brodziak, and Joukov, who is apparently incredible boom or giant bust.

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05-16-2004, 02:07 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
2001, 2002, 2003 is early.
But not so early for you to say that you're disgusted with 2003. I advise applying some consistency to your arguments, they're more convincing that way.

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05-16-2004, 02:23 PM
  #19
Mizral
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Originally Posted by Bohologo
But not so early for you to say that you're disgusted with 2003. I advise applying some consistency to your arguments, they're more convincing that way.
Perhaps reading my post will help.

Due to the Devils taking much more time, it's harder to look at their draft years. Although I'm sure Devils fans are a bit disgusted with their 2001 draft anyways. Still, with the Devils draft years, it takes longer to determine what's going on than it does with the Oilers' draft years.

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05-16-2004, 02:24 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seachd
Disgusted with the Oilers' draft? It's too early to tell much, but I don't see much to be disgusted with. What didn't you like about it?

Their first 3 picks all showed a lot this past year. There's also Brodziak, and Joukov, who is apparently incredible boom or giant bust.
Brodziak I love.

However, you can't help but be a bit annoyed when the Oilers pass up a potential franchise player in Zach Parise for made-of-glass Marc-Antoine Pouliot (whom I will admit I like when he does play, but he gets injured so much), and #60th overall pick JF Jacques.

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05-16-2004, 02:33 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Brodziak I love.

However, you can't help but be a bit annoyed when the Oilers pass up a potential franchise player in Zach Parise for made-of-glass Marc-Antoine Pouliot (whom I will admit I like when he does play, but he gets injured so much), and #60th overall pick JF Jacques.
Meh... I haven't been annoyed at all about the pick. There are reasons the Oilers and 16 or so other teams passed him up. There's no doubt he could be a franchise player, but so could Getzlaf, or Stuart, or Fehr, or Pouliot or whoever. We have no idea who will turn out or who won't. The Oilers know better than I do when it comes to picking players. Until Parise actually becomes a franchise player, I won't worry too much about it, personally.

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05-16-2004, 02:36 PM
  #22
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mizral, I went back 5 years because the original point of the thread was : is pendergast's team a good scouting team? If you remember Guy's story on Kaberle, you will know that, as long as fraser was here, the scouts had little say on who would be selected.

It may seem like we are picking on you but you said that the devils and oiler scouts aren't in the same league. I agree, the current group of oilers is quite a bit ahead of the devils.

Ari and parise have not played a game yet so it is way too soon to consider either in the same sentance as Hemsky, jussi, stoll, comrie, semenov etc. Right now, the most that you can say is that they may be better than pouliott, jesse, kyle, JDD etc. The simple truth is that the devils have not drafted an impact player in 5 years.

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05-16-2004, 02:37 PM
  #23
Mizral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seachd
Meh... I haven't been annoyed at all about the pick. There are reasons the Oilers and 16 or so other teams passed him up. There's no doubt he could be a franchise player, but so could Getzlaf, or Stuart, or Fehr, or Pouliot or whoever. We have no idea who will turn out or who won't. The Oilers know better than I do when it comes to picking players. Until Parise actually becomes a franchise player, I won't worry too much about it, personally.
I guess. But damn, I was so amazed that Parise fell to the Oilers. Even despite the thought of Parise lighting up the Canucks 6 times a year 5 years down the road, I wanted Lowe to pick him.

At the draft, I orginally wanted Pouliot (of the players remaining) on the Canucks. The Oilers picked one spot before them and got him. At the time, I thought the Oilers had a great kid there (I was incensed with the Kesler pick, hated it).

And while Pouliot when he plays looks like a fine player, his injuries really, really worry me. To have two major injuries in one year in major junior is pretty serious stuff.

(PS: I would have been equally happy with Getzlaf to the Oilers too with the #17 pick. I think he and Parise fell far, far too much. Getzlaf right now looks like a future 1st line player. I think he was very underrated by the HF top 50 Prospect list. Wouldn't it be something if Anaheim got him and Ladd and played a Calgary Hitman connection down the road?)

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05-16-2004, 02:42 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I guess. But damn, I was so amazed that Parise fell to the Oilers. Even despite the thought of Parise lighting up the Canucks 6 times a year 5 years down the road, I wanted Lowe to pick him.

At the draft, I orginally wanted Pouliot (of the players remaining) on the Canucks. The Oilers picked one spot before them and got him. At the time, I thought the Oilers had a great kid there (I was incensed with the Kesler pick, hated it).
I remember that. You said, "Oohh, if the Oilers get Parise, I'll be so mad!"

And then I remember some interesting words after Vancouver picked Kesler.

Just curious, after the Oilers picked Pouliot, who were you hoping for?

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05-16-2004, 02:49 PM
  #25
Mizral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seachd
I remember that. You said, "Oohh, if the Oilers get Parise, I'll be so mad!"

And then I remember some interesting words after Vancouver picked Kesler.

Just curious, after the Oilers picked Pouliot, who were you hoping for?
Let me paint you a picture about how mad I was in 2003:

My absolute favorite 3 guys who had potential to fall to the Canucks pick at #23 overall:

1 - Jeff Carter (pretty slim chance of him falling there, but oh well)

2 - Ryan Getzlaf (was taken #19)

3 - Marc-Antoine Pouliot (taken #22)

So first Carter goes and I kind of go 'Oh well, too bad'.

Then Parise goes at 17, more dreams fading.

Getzlaf goes at 19 (ARG!)

Pouliot goes at #22!! (#$%^)

At this point, I'm saying to myself: 'Please be Mike Richards please be Mike Richards please be Mike Richards..'

Canucks take Kesler #23 (^%(ING BRIAN ^&$*ING BURKE)

Flyers take Richards #24 (%*#$*$*$*%*^$*%^^#&#&^_(*&#)($&)@^%)(^# GOD DAMN PEICE OF MONKEY %^#$&^$)

...

Not a healthy day for my heart.

And, as a bonus, we took this schlub Marc-Andre Bernier in the 2nd round!

............

All that said, looking back on it, I'm not nearly as mad. While I still think Richards is slightly better than Kesler, Kesler has looked very good. I still don't like the Bernier pick, however already Guenette (7th rounder in 2003) looks exceptional, and I can't really complain too much right now. Still, if we coulda traded up to get Getzlaf....

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